On Friday, November 22, 2019, The Levine Museum of the New South with help from the Knight Foundation hosted Asian American author, musician, activist, and self-proclaimed troublemaker, Simon Tam. He is best known as the bassist and founder of the Asian American dance-rock band, The Slants, whose landmark legal battle helped expand First Amendment rights in trademark law for minority communities. Reclaiming the use of the racial slur and fighting against stereotypes, Simon challenged in the Supreme Court the right to trademark their band name The Slants, and won!
At the Great Aunt Stella Center, Tam spoke to over 75 people about his passion and advocacy for free speech, social justice, social equity, artists and activists. In the Levine Museum’s mission to tell everyone’s story, Tam was able to share his unique and compelling work about First Amendment struggles and “seizing control of a racial slur by turning it on its head and draining its venom.”
Tam’s book, Slanted, shares his story of taking on the legal system. To read more, check out the articles by the New York Times and Rolling Stone or the interview on Reason TV.